Before the bombing of the 2013 Boston Marathon was even twenty-four hours old, conspiracy theories littered Facebook feeds and Google searches. The attack, which occurred on Monday in downtown Boston, was a series of two explosions located on the sidelines near the finish line of the race. CBS News reports that a third explosive was discovered and properly disposed.
Within hours, well-known conspiracy theorist Alex Jones tweeted about the bombing.
“Our hearts go out to those that are hurt or killed #Boston marathon – but this thing stinks to high heaven #falseflag,” the tweet read.
Theorists are already blaming the government for staging the bombing as a “false flag” operation. “False flag” is the term used to refer to an allegedly staged event with which the government will use to rally support for some specific cause. Conspiracy theorists allege that the 9/11 attacks were a false flag operation to gain the public’s support in invading Afghanistan.
Because Jones, who appeared on Piers Morgan after the Sandy Hook shootings to explain why he believes the school massacre was a hoax, made his tweet so early in the investigation of the Boston Marathon bombing, he should lose all credibility.
According to his tweet, Jones had the appropriate evidence to say that the bombing “stinks to high heaven” mere hours after it occurred. It is impossible for him to have known enough about the bombing to make this claim. There is no respectable reason for one to jump to this claim so instinctually, and yet, several blogs and hundreds of comments have already been made in support of this man’s completely unfounded remarks.
There are many ways to interpret evidence; if one examines what is available and decides that some extreme theory is the most reasonable, then so be it. But Jones had no strong evidence to interpret when me made his now-famous tweet. It seems that no victim of a terrorist attack will be safe from the basely irrational theorists on the Internet.